Talladega II: Paul Menard preview

Menards Racing Looking for Top-10 at Talladega MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 1, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the members of the No. 15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team have a common goal heading into this weekend's AMP Energy 500 -- to record ...

Menards Racing Looking for Top-10 at Talladega

MOORESVILLE, N.C. (October 1, 2008) -- Paul Menard and the members of the No. 15 Menards/Dale Earnhardt Inc. team have a common goal heading into this weekend's AMP Energy 500 -- to record the team's first top-10 of the NASCAR Sprint Cup season. The goal is certainly an attainable one, given the team's tremendous success at the superspeedway events in 2008.

After leading laps in the last Sprint Cup event at Talladega, Menard turned in a superspeedway best 14th place finish at the track in April. Menard followed up the performance with an improved showing at Daytona International Speedway in July, where Menard scored his first Coors Light Pole Award. He went on to record another top-15 finish in superspeedway competition by finishing 15th in the Coke Zero 400.

"Our engine departure has made some tremendous strides in the past few months," Menard explained. "As evident by our success at Daytona and also how we ran at Talladega in the spring, I think it's safe to say that you'll see another strong run by the No. 15 Johns Manville/Menards team this weekend."

Menard will pilot chassis #064 during this weekend's 188-lap event. It is the same car he drove at Talladega in April. Menard's crew chief Doug Randolph identified the car as a "superspeedway specific rocket ship" that has proven to be just as fast in qualifying as it is in race trim.

"We built this car specifically for Talladega and Paul was really happy with it in race trim," Randolph said. "The engine department found something between Talladega in the spring and Daytona in the summer and it was because of their hard work that we were able to qualify up front at Daytona. I think that as a team, we have a great shot at recording a top-five finish and we're going to give it all we've got this weekend."

Menard's first chance at on-track success comes Friday in the series' two practice sessions. Qualifying for the AMP Energy 500 will take place on Saturday afternoon and broadcast live on SPEED Channel beginning at 12 noon Eastern.

-credit: pm/dei

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About this article
Series Monster Energy NASCAR Cup
Drivers Dale Earnhardt , Paul Menard